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Category: Black Collar Crime

Black Collar Crime: Salvation Army Youth Pastor Jeffery Williams Accused of Sending Sexually Explicit Materials to a Minor

jeffery-williams

The Black Collar Crime Series relies on public news stories and publicly available information for its content. If any incorrect information is found, please contact Bruce Gerencser. Nothing in this post should be construed as an accusation of guilt. Those accused of crimes are innocent until proven guilty.

Jeffery Williams, formerly a youth pastor with the Salvation Army in Fountain, Colorado, stands accused of sending sexually explicit materials to a minor in the church’s youth group. Williams is a married father of three. The Salvation Army is an Evangelical sect.

Church Leaders reports:

A former Salvation Army youth pastor has been arrested and charged with sending sexually explicit materials to a minor. Jeffery Williams, 38, turned himself in to police in Fountain, Colorado, on Nov. 10. He was booked on charges of obscenity and unlawful sexual communication by a person in a position of trust.

According to Salvation Army officials, Williams served in Fountain from 2013 to 2017. After that, he served in Chandler, Arizona, until being suspended and then terminated last month. The church says it took immediate action when it learned of the allegations against Williams and is cooperating with authorities.

Before being commissioned as a Salvation Army officer in 2013, Jeffery Williams completed a two-year church training program in California. Then he was stationed for four years in Fountain, where the alleged incident occurred.

Fountain police say they began investigating Williams last month, and that investigation led to his arrest this week.

Although Fountain police didn’t indicate a timeline for the alleged incident, the church’s statement notes: “The Salvation Army understands that the charges at issue involve conduct that occurred about seven years ago in Colorado, but the charges are serious.” The church also says it had not received any previous complaints about Williams’ conduct with minors.

In its statement, the Salvation Army emphasizes that it “does not tolerate sexual misconduct or improprieties of any kind.” It adds, “In accordance with our policy, once we learned of the allegations last month, [Jeffery Williams] was immediately suspended and we reported these allegations to the Colorado Child Abuse and Neglect Hotline. Since making this report, we have been cooperating with Fountain Police and Williams has been terminated. We have also attempted to contact the victim in the case to extend any assistance she may require.”

….

According to social media posts, Williams has been married for almost 20 years and is the father of three children. His wife also serves in the Salvation Army. Church Leaders has reached out to the couple for comment and will update this article with any reply.

bruce-gerencser-headshot

Bruce Gerencser, 65, lives in rural Northwest Ohio with his wife of 44 years. He and his wife have six grown children and thirteen grandchildren. Bruce pastored Evangelical churches for twenty-five years in Ohio, Texas, and Michigan. Bruce left the ministry in 2005, and in 2008 he left Christianity. Bruce is now a humanist and an atheist.

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Black Collar Crime: IFB Pastor David Walther Charged with Possession of Child Pornography

pastor david walther

The Black Collar Crime Series relies on public news stories and publicly available information for its content. If any incorrect information is found, please contact Bruce Gerencser. Nothing in this post should be construed as an accusation of guilt. Those accused of crimes are innocent until proven guilty.

David Walther, pastor of Faith Baptist Church in Round Rock, Texas, stands accused of distribution, receipt, transportation, and possession of child pornography. Faith Baptist is an Independent Fundamentalist Baptist (IFB) congregation affiliated with the Baptist Bible Fellowship.

The Austin American-Statesman reports:

David Lloyd Walther, 56, of Georgetown, was arrested on Thursday and charged with distribution, receipt, transportation and possession of child pornography, according to a news release from the U.S. attorney’s office. If convicted, he faces up to 20 years in prison.

Walther told an FBI agent that “he had a pornography addiction and would often go through cycles ofdownloading and viewing pornography depicting both adults and minors,” the complaint said.

He also said that he would download child pornography files, “but would often feel guilty and go through a ‘purging’ of files, i.e., deleting the images and associated files, because he knew it was wrong, and that he last purged files on November 08, 2022, the night before the search warrants were served,” according to the complaint.

Walther was a pastor at the Faith Baptist Church in Round Rock for the past 18 years, said David Clawson, a deacon at the church.

“We regret anything along these lines that has happened,” Clawson said on Friday about the charges against Walther. “The church will continue to move forward as God has led,” Clawson said. He declined further comment.

“The criminal complaint alleges that Walther downloaded and made available child pornography using BitTorrent, a peer-to-peer file sharing network,” the release said. It said this happened when Walther, who is a Georgetown resident, was still a pastor.

When authorities searched Walther’s home and vehicle on Thursday, they found two large computer hard drives that contained child pornography, the release said.

Walther told authorities that he didn’t know he was sharing child pornography through the BitTorrent network and also apologized “for his actions,” the complaint said.

He said when he viewed the child pornography the children in it were between 8 and 17 years old, according to the complaint.

Law and Crime adds:

According to the affidavit, which Law&Crime is not sharing in this instance because of how detailed it is, the pastor had a “BDSM” folder containing an image of a nude boy with a collar on his neck and being sexually abused, a similar image of a female toddler, and images of nude young boys and girls being restrained by ropes and tools. A “Zoo” folder allegedly contained a bestiality video involving a dog and a female toddler “likely less than three years old.”

The feds allege that the defendant also downloaded several videos through BitTorrent showing young girls being sexually abused by adult men.

Walther has been scrubbed from his church’s website.

bruce-gerencser-headshot

Bruce Gerencser, 65, lives in rural Northwest Ohio with his wife of 44 years. He and his wife have six grown children and thirteen grandchildren. Bruce pastored Evangelical churches for twenty-five years in Ohio, Texas, and Michigan. Bruce left the ministry in 2005, and in 2008 he left Christianity. Bruce is now a humanist and an atheist.

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Black Collar Crime: Evangelical Pastor Waddy Talley Accused of Shoplifting

pastor waddy talley

The Black Collar Crime Series relies on public news stories and publicly available information for its content. If any incorrect information is found, please contact Bruce Gerencser. Nothing in this post should be construed as an accusation of guilt. Those accused of crimes are innocent until proven guilty.

Waddy Talley, Sr. pastor of Pleasant View Missionary Baptist Church in Gray Court, South Carolina, stands accused of shoplifting.

The State reports:

An Upstate pastor and one-time volunteer police chaplain has been charged with shoplifting in Greenville County, according to the State Law Enforcement Division. Waddy Talley, the pastor at the Pleasant View Missionary Baptist Church in Gray Court, S.C., was charged Wednesday with shoplifting.

SLED said that on July 21, Talley was caught on video stealing over $100 worth of merchandise from the Palmetto State Armory in Greenville. Talley had been a volunteer pastor with the Greenville Sheriff’s Office.

Talley’s church bio states:

Pastor Waddy L. Talley Sr., is a native of Greenville County, South Carolina. He is the 8th child of the late Ralph C. Talley and Martha Bell Foster Talley.

Reverend Talley is a 1977 graduate of Woodmont High School in Piedmont, South Carolina. He is retired form the South Carolina National Guard Army. He is a graduate of Greenville Technical College; as well as Columbia State University. In addition, he has completed studies at the Billy Graham Training Center in Asheville, North Carolina.

Pastor Talley has studied at American Baptist Theological Center (extension) Greenville, South Carolina. He has completed courses from Trinity Bible College and Seminary and Southern Wesleyan University in Central, South Carolina.

In 1995, he was called into the Gospel Ministry and licensed by the Reedy Fork Baptist Church under the leadership of Pastor T.E. Simmons. In July 1997, Pastor Talley was called to pastor the Pleasant View Missionary Baptist Church in Gray Court, South Carolina, where he continues to serve. 

Under the leadership of Pastor Talley, the church has continued to grow; leadership training, in house, local, state and national levels have experienced an increase in participation. All advances are due to God’s guidance through His anointed servant Pastor Waddy L. Talley, Sr.

bruce-gerencser-headshot

Bruce Gerencser, 65, lives in rural Northwest Ohio with his wife of 44 years. He and his wife have six grown children and thirteen grandchildren. Bruce pastored Evangelical churches for twenty-five years in Ohio, Texas, and Michigan. Bruce left the ministry in 2005, and in 2008 he left Christianity. Bruce is now a humanist and an atheist.

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Black Collar Crime: Evangelical Pastor Gregory Adams Accused of Multiple Sex Crimes

pastor gregory adams

The Black Collar Crime Series relies on public news stories and publicly available information for its content. If any incorrect information is found, please contact Bruce Gerencser. Nothing in this post should be construed as an accusation of guilt. Those accused of crimes are innocent until proven guilty.

Gregory Adams, pastor and prophet of Life Song Ministries in Citronelle, Alabama, stands charged with two counts of rape in the first degree, two counts of rape in the second degree, three counts of sodomy in the first degree, and two counts of sexual abuse. 

WDHN reports:

A Citronelle pastor was indicted on nine charges of sex abuse, with some of the alleged victims being as young as 12 years old. 

Gregory Renee Adams was indicted on five counts of rape, two counts of sodomy and two counts of sexual abuse by force. The sexual abuse spanned decades and state lines, according to court testimony. 

Investigators with Mobile Police believed Adams used his position as a pastor to meet his victims and force them into sex. Investigators said Adams would frequently travel to churches in Citronelle, Ala. and Waynesboro, Miss. There, he would meet his victims, according to investigators.

Four people came forward claiming that Adams sexually assaulted them. Two of the victims said the abuse started when they were 12 years old. 

Adams told his victims that he would decide if they went to heaven or hell and used “holy oil” as a lubricant to sexually abuse some of his victims, according to court testimony.  

WKRG adds:

The sexual abuse and assault would allegedly take place in his home as well as in the victim’s home.

Another one of his possible victims, who was also 12, said she was staying the night at Adams house before a missionary trip to Arkansas when the first sexual assault occurred.

A third possible victim alleges she was a parishioner at Adams church and met him during her adult years. She claims Adams is the father of her child and had unwanted sexual intercourse with him.

A fourth possible victim alleges she was friend’s with Adam’s children and was raped at his home.

The investigator testified that Adams used his power as a pastor to make his victims fear him.

According to testimony, Adams told one of his victims if she didn’t have sex with him, God would strike her down with lightning.

Adams allegedly told his victims he chooses who goes to heaven or hell.

Testimony alleged Adams used “holy oil” as lubricant to sexually assault some of his victims.

bruce-gerencser-headshot

Bruce Gerencser, 65, lives in rural Northwest Ohio with his wife of 44 years. He and his wife have six grown children and thirteen grandchildren. Bruce pastored Evangelical churches for twenty-five years in Ohio, Texas, and Michigan. Bruce left the ministry in 2005, and in 2008 he left Christianity. Bruce is now a humanist and an atheist.

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You can email Bruce via the Contact Form.

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Black Collar Crime: Southern Baptist Pastor Michael Canter Accused of Sexually Abusing Church Teenager

pastor michael canter

The Black Collar Crime Series relies on public news stories and publicly available information for its content. If any incorrect information is found, please contact Bruce Gerencser. Nothing in this post should be construed as an accusation of guilt. Those accused of crimes are innocent until proven guilty.

Michael Canter, pastor of Valley View Baptist Church in Abingdon, Virginia, stands accused of sexually abusing a church teenager at an overnight sleepover. Valley View is affiliated with the Southern Baptist Convention.

The Washington County Sheriff’s Department reports:

After receiving a report of an alleged sexual assault and after an investigation thereof, Washington County Virginia Sheriff’s Office detectives arrested Michael Canter, age 38 of Abingdon, Virginia, without incident on September 8, 2022 on multiple sexual assault charges against a juvenile female. At the time of his arrest, Michael Canter, a lifelong resident of Washington County, Virginia, was serving as the pastor at Valley View Baptist Church in Abingdon, Virginia. Canter was charged with Taking Indecent Liberties with a Child, two counts of Aggravated Sexual Battery and Attempted Object Sexual Penetration. Canter is currently being held at the Southwest Virginia Regional Jail without bond.

The Roys Report adds:

Michael Steven Canter, 38, faces charges of taking indecent liberties with a child; two charges of aggravated sexual battery; and one charge of attempted object sexual penetration, the sheriff’s office indicated in a press release.

When he was arrested, Canter was pastor of Valley View Baptist Church in Abingdon, in far west Virginia, the sheriff’s office stated. He has pastored the church since 2015, according to the church’s Facebook page.

….

A 17-year-old told sheriff’s deputies last month that Canter had groped her multiple times a few days earlier, during an overnight church event he organized, the criminal complaint stated. The reported assault traumatized the girl, who has sought counseling and medication to cope, the complaint added.

The complaint also states a second person corroborated the girl’s account.

A detective told local TV station WJHL that there could be other victims, too. They encouraged anyone with information to come forward.

Canter has been held without bond in the Abingdon Regional Jail since late September 8, according to the sheriff’s office and VINELink inmate records.

bruce-gerencser-headshot

Bruce Gerencser, 65, lives in rural Northwest Ohio with his wife of 44 years. He and his wife have six grown children and thirteen grandchildren. Bruce pastored Evangelical churches for twenty-five years in Ohio, Texas, and Michigan. Bruce left the ministry in 2005, and in 2008 he left Christianity. Bruce is now a humanist and an atheist.

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Black Collar Crime: Southern Baptist Youth Pastor Trent Ivey Arrested on Sexual Battery Charges

trent ivey

The Black Collar Crime Series relies on public news stories and publicly available information for its content. If any incorrect information is found, please contact Bruce Gerencser. Nothing in this post should be construed as an accusation of guilt. Those accused of crimes are innocent until proven guilty.

Trent Ivey, a youth pastor at Vestal Baptist Church in South Knox, Tennessee, was arrested on sexual battery charges in 2021. Vestal Baptist is affiliated with the Southern Baptist Convention. Ivey is currently awaiting trial.

WVLT-8 reports:

At Vestal Baptist church [sic] in South Knox, it’s a small congregation of about 50 people. Over a year ago, there were more than 100 people there before many left after an incident that Pastor Arnold Greene wished he could forget.

Youth Pastor Trent Ivey was arrested back in August of 2021 and charged with sexual battery by an authority figure, and also faced accusations of distributing inappropriate material to minors at his time at Vestal Baptist, according to the Knox County Sheriff’s Office.

“He was inappropriate with two young females from what I understand,” said Greene who claimed it was a 16 and 18-year-old in his congregation.

According to the Knox County Sheriffs Office, Ivey made bail at $40,000 the same day he was arrested and will have a court date in 2024.

The youth pastor of two years was [sic] listed in the Tennessee Sex Offender Registry.

According to Greene, he was “shocked” to learn of the allegations against Ivey, and said he had no knowledge of it. In fact, six months prior, Greene fired Ivey claiming it was due to “insubordination” and had nothing to do with the accusations of misconduct since the pastor didn’t know about it at that point.

Greene said he learned of the misconduct months later when one of the victims told somebody who then told him. A pastor of nine years who couldn’t help but feel a little guilt after serious accusations were being brought forth on one of his former employees.

“In some ways I do but you trust people until you can’t,” said Greene.

Greene said Ivey grew up in the church alongside multiple generations of his family, so he had no reason not to trust him. After his exit and subsequent arrest, Greene felt betrayed and hasn’t hired a new youth pastor more than a year later.

“It’s hard to move on it’s hard to get someone you trust,” said Greene.

….

The records of what exactly happened involving the charges are sealed because they involve minors, and therefore have not been made available, according to the Knox County Sheriff’s Office.

Pastor Greene is a Southern Baptist. Surely he knows that his chosen denomination has a huge sexual abuse problem; a scandal of epic proportions. Thus, I am somewhat perplexed by his naivety. As he has now learned, ANYONE in his church can be a sexual predator. Naively trusting people because they are saved, or regularly attend church, or you have known them for years is an abrogation of your responsibility to provide a safe environment for church children. I wonder if Vestal Baptist requires annual state and federal background checks for anyone who works with children or is in a position of authority? What procedures are in place to protect children from predators? Of course, it is uncertain whether the alleged crimes took place at the church or involved church children. We shall await further disclosures.

bruce-gerencser-headshot

Bruce Gerencser, 65, lives in rural Northwest Ohio with his wife of 44 years. He and his wife have six grown children and thirteen grandchildren. Bruce pastored Evangelical churches for twenty-five years in Ohio, Texas, and Michigan. Bruce left the ministry in 2005, and in 2008 he left Christianity. Bruce is now a humanist and an atheist.

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You can email Bruce via the Contact Form.

Your comments are welcome and appreciated. All first-time comments are moderated. Please read the commenting rules before commenting.

Black Collar Crime: Christ of Christ Pastor Roberson Douge Accused of Sex Crimes with Teen Girls

The Black Collar Crime Series relies on public news stories and publicly available information for its content. If any incorrect information is found, please contact Bruce Gerencser. Nothing in this post should be construed as an accusation of guilt. Those accused of crimes are innocent until proven guilty.

Roberson Douge pastor of Apostolic Church of Christ in Palm Bay, Florida, has been charged with 10 counts of lewd and lascivious battery and 10 counts of unlawful sexual activity with certain minors.

Florida Today reports:

Roberson Douge, 42, the pastor of the Apostolic Church of Christ, 1402 Norman St. NE in Palm Bay, was charged with 10 counts of lewd and lascivious battery and 10 counts of unlawful sexual activity with certain minors following an investigation into suspected, inappropriate behavior, police reports show.

Detectives said there may be other potential victims, and have asked anyone with information on the case to come forward.

“We really don’t know if there are other victims. We are not sure. That’s why we put the plea out there,” said Lt. Mike Rogers, spokesperson for the Palm Bay Police Department.

Douge, arrested at his home in Palm Bay Wednesday by Palm Bay police, is also the owner and operator of Tiger Claw Kung Fu, a martial arts training facility in the city.

The investigation began Monday after someone came forward to tell Palm Bay detectives that two girls were in illicit relationships with the preacher. 

One of the teens had reached out to a friend to tell her she was struggling with personal issues, when both realized they were involved with inappropriate sexual relations with Douge.

The girls told police they attended the church. One girl said the pastor would drive her home, touch her, and later engage in sex in the vehicle, according to an affidavit. 

The other girl told investigators the pastor would drive her to empty lots for sexual contact outside of the church. The pastorl also engaged in sexual encounters with the teens in the church bathroom, the church van and his office, according to police. 

Detectives arranged to record a phone call between one of the girls and the pastor.

The pastor, who spoke in Creole and English during the recorded call, begged the girl not to reveal their relationship, fearing the disclosure would ruin his family and devastate his children, police reports show. Douge also apologized. 

bruce-gerencser-headshot

Bruce Gerencser, 65, lives in rural Northwest Ohio with his wife of 44 years. He and his wife have six grown children and thirteen grandchildren. Bruce pastored Evangelical churches for twenty-five years in Ohio, Texas, and Michigan. Bruce left the ministry in 2005, and in 2008 he left Christianity. Bruce is now a humanist and an atheist.

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You can email Bruce via the Contact Form.

Your comments are welcome and appreciated. All first-time comments are moderated. Please read the commenting rules before commenting.

Updated: Black Collar Crime: Youth Pastor Jesse Vargas Sentenced to Prison for Sexually Abusing Teen Girl

pastor jesse vargas

The Black Collar Crime Series relies on public news stories and publicly available information for its content. If any incorrect information is found, please contact Bruce Gerencser. Nothing in this post should be construed as an accusation of guilt. Those accused of crimes are innocent until proven guilty.

Jesse Vargas, a youth pastor who worked at The Incredible Journey to Christianity retreat in Michigan, was accused of sexually assaulting a teen girl.

In March 2021, the St. Louis Dispatch reported:

A New York youth pastor charged with the sexual assault of a teenage girl in Hazelwood met the teen at a Christian retreat in Michigan before he was invited to stay with the girl’s family, Hazelwood police said Tuesday.

Jesse Vargas, 37, of Nassau County, New York, was a youth pastor who worked at The Incredible Journey to Christianity retreat in Michigan where he met the teen, Hazelwood police Capt. Mark McKeon said. Hazelwood police began investigating reports in December that Vargas repeatedly sexually assaulted the girl in January 2013 while he was staying with her family.

Vargas was charged in St. Louis County in February with five counts of statutory sodomy. He was arrested in New York on Friday where he is also facing charges that include sexual abuse and endangering the welfare of a child. He’s accused of sexually assaulting a teen girl at his home there. Police would not say if it was the same teen who reported the assault in Hazelwood.

In November 2021, Fox-2 reported:

Explicit text messages from an old iPhone show the lengths to which a youth pastor allegedly groomed a juvenile for years before he allegedly sexually assaulted her, Hazelwood Police said. That pastor now faces several state and federal charges and authorities believe there could be more victims.

“No matter how careful the parents are – the kids need to be educated on the types of techniques used by the predators,” Hazelwood Police DARE Officer Ed Novak said.

The alleged victim, who is now an adult, said she met youth pastor Jesse Vargas at a church retreat in Michigan. Vargas had lived in Long Island, New York.

She was 11 at the time. He was 25.

“He was actually the one at the registration table, the very first day that I went in. So I was 11, and I was in this new place full of strangers,” she said. “He was the first person to give me my nametag and make me feel comfortable. He was one of the spiritual leaders of the entire camp.”

FOX 2 is not naming the woman to protect her identity.

The woman, who is now 25, grew up in Hazelwood. She said she visited the camp twice a year. It was when she turned 13 that she said Vargas initiated more direct contact.

“After camp in 2011, he asked for my phone number and asked to take a photo of me. And he took that, and immediately started a friendly conversation,” she said.

She said the friendly conversations over texts were innocuous at first. Vargas, she said, insisted that he help guide her on her spiritual journey.

He began to text her, send her seemingly innocent tokens of affection, including a mix CD, a journal, and other items. Vargas’ wife had even sewn a dress for her.

But the subtle messages began to build into something dangerous over time, she said.

“He would talk to me about his work concerns, his marital concerns, his personal history, and also go on and on how well he wanted to treat me, and how he wanted to come there and buy me my favorite snacks,” she said. “And he wanted to transfer to St. Louis so he could take me out to lunch once I went to high school.”

The two became closer and while the alleged victim had concerns, she said she would ultimately trust Vargas, an authority figure.

Vargas, she said, even earned the trust of her family, even visiting and staying with them on more than one occasion.

Her first sexual contact with him happened when she was 15, she said.

“Inappropriate touching. Sexual stimulation. Oral sex, in my parents’ basement. He would come and stay with my family, he had earned their trust as well. But in the middle of the night, in my parent’s house, is where this would occur,” she said.

The methodically placed gifts, affection, and abuse continued. The alleged victim’s said her family was unaware of what was happening and that her parents allowed her to visit Vargas and his wife in New York.

The woman said she eventually broke off contact and lived with the secrets for years. It wasn’t until 2020—seven years after the initial relationship—that she came forward. She said a family member of Vargas—someone who she had never met—messaged her, saying she learned of what had been happened. She said the family member apologized to her for what Vargas had done.

That was when the woman, now 25, said she wanted to break her silence.

“I contacted Hazelwood Police,” she said.

She was aware that her case would be hard to prove, given that the alleged incidents took place seven years after the fact.

But two pieces of evidence helped bring charges against Vargas: an old iMac and an iPhone 5.

She still had possession of the old iPhone, which had the social app Kik on it. Vargas had instructed her to use the encrypted messaging system to communicate during the relationship.

“Even though it was encrypted and isn’t hosted online, it was still sitting there on my phone. The pages of conversation that we had had were right there waiting for the phone to turn on,” she said.

Hazelwood Police and the FBI were able to recover the texts. There were dozens of pages of evidence, revealing Vargas’ years-long efforts to groom his victim, police said.

“There were able to pull my phone backups off of that. Even though pretty early on in the grooming, he had instructed me to stop backing up my phone to that computer…we still had everything up to that point,” the woman said.

Vargas pleaded guilty in March 2022. Yesterday, he was sentenced to 13 years in prison for his crimes.

The United States Department of Justice reports:

U.S. District Judge Ronnie L. White on Thursday sentenced a former youth pastor from New York to 13 years and four months in prison for the sexual abuse of a Missouri 15-year-old in 2013.

Judge White also ordered Jesse E. Vargas, 38, to pay $146,594 in restitution to his victim.

Vargas originally met the then 11-year-old girl at a religious camp in Michigan where he worked.

“Over the course of the next four years Jesse played with my family and I like frogs in a pot,” the victim said in court during Thursday’s hearing. “Slowly increasing the temperature of his manipulation until we each were unaware of the water we had been submerged in, let alone its suddenly scalding temperature. By age thirteen I abandoned most of my spiritual leaders and friendships at his suggestion. By fourteen he even guided me to push away my two closest friends,” she said.

In January of 2013, Vargas traveled from New York to the St. Louis area home of the teen. He stayed in her family’s house and preached a sermon at her church. During the visit, he also sexually abused her.

“I was assured by him throughout my formative young teenage years that ‘The World’ wouldn’t understand the illicit affair of ours he was suggesting, but God had provided us a path that we should follow together in secret. Tell no one. Trust no one else,” the victim said.

He returned in March of 2013 and abused her again. In June of that year, he arranged for her to travel to New York, where he abused her again. He exchanged images and videos containing nude images with the teen via social media apps and text messages.

The victim also spoke about the effects of Vargas’ abuse, including PTSD.  “As a lifelong honors student with high career hopes entering high school, I instead dropped out because I was simply too exhausted to care about anything.”

Vargas, of Nassau County, pleaded guilty March 22 to two felony counts: travel with the intent to engage in illicit sexual contact and coercion and enticement of a minor.

The case was investigated by the FBI and the Hazelwood Police Department.  Assistant U.S. Attorney Jillian Anderson prosecuted the case.

“The way Jesse Vargas used the guise of spiritual instruction is repugnant. He manipulated not only his victim, but the adults who tried to protect her,” said Acting Special Agent in Charge Mark Dargis of the FBI St. Louis Division. “I commend the victim’s bravery for coming forward, in spite of having to relive her trauma, to prevent others from becoming a victim.”  

bruce-gerencser-headshot

Bruce Gerencser, 65, lives in rural Northwest Ohio with his wife of 44 years. He and his wife have six grown children and thirteen grandchildren. Bruce pastored Evangelical churches for twenty-five years in Ohio, Texas, and Michigan. Bruce left the ministry in 2005, and in 2008 he left Christianity. Bruce is now a humanist and an atheist.

Connect with me on social media:

You can email Bruce via the Contact Form.

Your comments are welcome and appreciated. All first-time comments are moderated. Please read the commenting rules before commenting.

Black Collar Crime: Catholic Youth Director Arnold DiBlasi Charged with Possessing and Distributing Child Porn

Arnold DiBlasi

The Black Collar Crime Series relies on public news stories and publicly available information for its content. If any incorrect information is found, please contact Bruce Gerencser. Nothing in this post should be construed as an accusation of guilt. Those accused of crimes are innocent until proven guilty.

Arnold DiBlasi, a youth director at Holy Eucharist Parish in Cherry Hill, New Jersey, and a grandfather, stands accused of possessing and distributing child pornography.

The Trentonian reports:

Burlington County Prosecutor LaChia L. Bradshaw and Evesham Township Police Chief Walt Miller have announced that a 71-year-old Marlton man has been charged with possessing and distributing child sexual abuse material.

Arnold DiBlasi, of the first block of Prince Charles Court, was charged with four counts of Endangering the Welfare of a Child (three First Degree and one Second Degree).

DiBlasi, who is the former youth group director at Holy Eucharist Parish in Cherry Hill, was taken into custody on July 26 at his residence following the execution of a search warrant. Electronic devices seized during the search will be examined by detectives from the BCPO High-Tech Crimes Unit. A preliminary review of DiBlasi’s cell phone revealed the presence of child sexual abuse material.

He was lodged in the Burlington County Jail in Mount Holly and released following a detention hearing in Superior Court. The case will now be referred to a grand jury for possible indictment.

The investigation began in May after the BCPO High-Tech Crimes Unit received information regarding DiBlasi’s online activities from the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The investigation revealed that DiBlasi, utilizing an online chat room, distributed more than 11,000 files of child sexual abuse material to 30 people.

CBS adds:

DiBlasi worked with kids as youth director at Holy Eucharist Parish in Cherry Hill.

In a statement, Pastor Jason Rocks says officials assured him “no parish youth were involved in the materials, none of the activities took place on parish property, nor were any parish electronics used.”

Father Rocks also went on to say DiBlasi completed all required training and criminal background checks before being hired.

Sorry, Father Rocks. Your assurances carry very little, if any, weight on this site. We’ve seen too much.

bruce-gerencser-headshot

Bruce Gerencser, 65, lives in rural Northwest Ohio with his wife of 44 years. He and his wife have six grown children and thirteen grandchildren. Bruce pastored Evangelical churches for twenty-five years in Ohio, Texas, and Michigan. Bruce left the ministry in 2005, and in 2008 he left Christianity. Bruce is now a humanist and an atheist.

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Son of Evangelical Pastor Jerome Milton Arrested, Charged with Credit Card Abuse

jerome anthony milton

The Black Collar Crime Series relies on public news stories and publicly available information for its content. If any incorrect information is found, please contact Bruce Gerencser. Nothing in this post should be construed as an accusation of guilt. Those accused of crimes are innocent until proven guilty.

Last week, I reported on the conviction and sentencing of Jerome Milton, pastor of Open Door Bible Church in Tyler, Texas. Milton was astoundingly sentenced to six months in jail for his crimes. His co-conspirator, Jerome Anthony Milton, has now been arrested and charged with credit card/debit card abuse.

CBS-19 reports:

The son of Rev. Jerome Milton who pleaded guilty last week to stealing from an elderly couple, his former church and a local nonprofit has been arrested in connection with the elderly theft case. 

Jerome Anthony Milton, 27, of Tyler, was charged Monday on two counts of credit or debit card abuse against the elderly. He was released from the Smith County Jail the same day. His bonds totaled $125,000, jail records show. 

The younger Milton was indicted on a credit or debit card abuse against the elderly charge on March 31; however, records currently show that indictment is no longer on file. 

Through a plea deal on Aug. 12, Rev. Milton, who leads Open Door Bible Church in Tyler, admitted to using bank transfers and credit cards to steal from two elderly congregation members as well as stealing from the previous church he led and the East Texas Communities Foundation. 


Rev. Milton will serve 180 days in the Smith County Jail and 10 years’ probation through his guilty plea. Once released from the county jail, he will have a hearing in February to address restitution payments, prosecutors said.

According to the March 31 indictment, over a seven-month period, the younger Milton fraudulently benefited from using the same elderly couple’s debit cards.

Police documents obtained in October 2021 state Rev. Milton unlawfully took money from congregation members, Wayford and Marilyn Brown, using multiple check withdrawals and ATM transactions while he serving as their power of attorney and finances. 

The document states Rev. Milton used the funds he took for car payments and hotel rooms.

In the affidavit regarding Rev. Milton’s arrest, the document stated that Jerome Anthony Milton was seen making ATM withdrawals from the elderly man’s bank account.

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Bruce Gerencser, 65, lives in rural Northwest Ohio with his wife of 44 years. He and his wife have six grown children and thirteen grandchildren. Bruce pastored Evangelical churches for twenty-five years in Ohio, Texas, and Michigan. Bruce left the ministry in 2005, and in 2008 he left Christianity. Bruce is now a humanist and an atheist.

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Bruce Gerencser